Below are the candidates for our 2021 Elections! Please take the time to read each candidates bio.
Laurence (“Larry”) Borden
Education and Career
My doctorate is in neuroscience and pharmacology. I spent the first half of my career engaged in biomedical research, first at medical schools, and subsequently at biotechnology companies. I then made a career switch, and worked in the field of pharmaceutical and biotech patent litigation (though I am not an attorney).
Though never my primary employment, I have taught for most of my career. Over the years I have taught Anatomy & Physiology, and Neuroanatomy, to undergraduate, graduate, and medical students. My impetus for teaching has always derived from my passion for sharing knowledge (always a two-way street); my reward is knowing that I have made a positive impact on people’s lives and careers.
I am a newbie, having started running rather late in the game – at the age of 65. A few years ago I entered a local race on a whim (to say I had no idea what I was doing would be an understatement!), and was immediately hooked. Fortunately, two years ago I came across the North Jersey Masters. I was welcomed immediately, and was struck by the camaraderie, and how encouraging everyone has been. This summer I volunteered to help Linda with the beginner’s class, and am now volunteering to serve on the Board because I would like to give back to an organization that has – in such a short time – given me so much. I have no specific goals for what role I might play, but I enjoy interacting with people (of all ages, and all backgrounds), and pride myself on being a good “implementer” and making things happen. (I would like to think that my enthusiasm at least partially offsets my lack of running experience.) I also enjoy writing (I have published many scientific articles, a few book chapters, and am an inventor on numerous patents), and also do a lot of editing. I hope that by serving on the Board I can be an asset to the North Jersey Masters.
I am a married father of five grown children, grandfather of four, and an active runner living in Saddle Brook, NJ for the past 34 years. I have been competing in road races since 1989 and joined the North Jersey Masters in 2014. Since joining the North Jersey Masters I was elected to the Board of Directors in 2018 and have been serving as the Chairperson of the Membership Committee since December 2019.
I have been a Youth Recreation Track Program coach in Saddle Brook beginning in 1992 and continued long after my children graduated the program, for a total of seventeen years. I became the Junior Track Program Commissioner introducing a generation of kids to the love of running, helping prepare them for yearly USATF meets, organized host meets, and helped develop incumbents into a high school program.
I understand that a running club fills many needs for people with various reasons for running. I also realize the need for a running club to provide the competitive runner a platform to train and to compete with other competitive runners. I would like to see the NJM age group teams get recharged and reinvigorated and have been working this racing season with the Men’s 60’s team which has competed at every USATF Masters Men’s Championship Race finishing as high as third place. I do plan to expand this to the other divisions for next season’s full schedule of races.
At the same time, I also feel strongly that we should not lose sight of the social aspect of a running club. A running club should also welcome and support beginners and less competitive runners and should provide encouragement for them to seek out their potential, while enjoying training activities like the beginner program. I believe this is the path to a continued inflow of new talent, interest, and success!
I am a lifelong resident of Bergen County and have lived in Glen Rock, NJ with my husband for the last 8 years. At the start of my college career, I made the choice to dedicate my life to fitness and to teaching young people how to be fit for life. I graduated with a BA in Exercise & Movement Science and since graduating, I have been teaching Physical Education & Health and earned an MA in Educational Leadership. Running has grown into a passion and along with my faith, have molded me into the person I am today. Running requires dedication and self-discipline – things that are also needed to be successful in life. As a HS Cross-Country and Track & Field coach, I teach my runners these life lessons and give them tools that they can use to let running take them places, literally!
I have been a member of North Jersey Masters for four years and have been serving on the Board for three years. I’ve enjoyed contributing to all facets of this premier running club, from helping new members get into running to achieve their fitness goals, to using my organizational, communication, and interpersonal skills to help plan running activities, such as coordinating member participation to represent NJM in races, as well as in community service. My increasing positions of responsibility in our club include chairing the Communications Committee, publishing our member newsletter and being appointed as VP on the Board for the last two years. I am also the co-chair of the Merchandising Committee and we bring fresh apparel that our members love!
I believe that my education, career, running experience and involvement with planning races, along with my desire to help others, make me well-qualified to continue contributing as an NJM Board member. If re-appointed, I plan to continue to work cohesively with other Board members to accomplish tasks at hand while always keeping the club’s best interests in mind.
Chris Kunkel-Board Member seeking Reelection
As a recreational runner who became a racer, I joined the North Jersey Masters in 2004 and gained invaluable insights from my first club meetings. When I began volunteering for the Ridgewood Run, I saw how important that was to the club, and later convinced my employer to become a sponsor at the silver level.
In 2015 I saw that the club was struggling after coming off the worst Ridgewood Run in memory. I felt that I needed to act to help the club that I came to love, therefore, I joined board with the support of fellow NJM members. My goals were to restore the Ridgewood Run to its past glory and to give the average club members a voice on the board.
In the last 6 years I chaired the Membership Committee during the transition to modern registration methods, working with the rest of the board to upgrade our website and bring our bylaws into the 21st century. We also expanded the coaching and the workouts to give more value to the members and encouraged new runners through the beginners’ program. Even during the recent tough times, we never forgot our charitable mission and donated to and supported worthy causes.
As Chair of the Sponsorship Committee, my goal is to work with members and the race director to bring in new, and retain existing, sponsors.
With the Ridgewood Run on hiatus for two years, I am resurrecting my goal of joining the board to restore the race to its original prominence. As the Ridgewood Run goes so does the health of the North Jersey Masters. We need it to succeed for us to fulfill the mission of our club.
From my years on the board, I believe I have the experience and the will to get my part done, and I appreciate the support of fellow club members in my run for another term.
Hi, my name is Allison Lemanski and I have been a member of North Jersey Masters for about 3 years and have gained so much from this group.
I have been an avid runner for over 20 years, running many races, 9 marathons and currently training for my 10th. Since I have joined this group, my ability to run longer distances and greater speeds has improved tremendously and I am extremely grateful for that.
As great as the improved running times are, what has been more important to me are the great friendships I have made with so many members. I moved to Bergen County 6 years ago and did not know anyone. I had heard of the North Jersey Masters but was a little intimidated to show up to a meeting or a run alone. Fortunately during one of my runs in Ramsey, one of the members, Michael and I ran past one another in town and started talking. By the end of our conversation he had convinced me to come to a long run where I met and started running with some of the same people I still run with every week. Everyone was so friendly and kind from the start and I felt welcome from that day on. I felt like I finally had found a group of people who were like me and had a similar passion, one where we could talk about everything from the best sneakers, running watches, and trails to real world issues. I truly value the camaraderie, advice, conversations and friendships I have made through North Jersey Masters.
What I believe I could bring to the board is my level of passion and knowledge for running. Just as important, I would like to be a friendly and welcoming face for new members and old so that they too could feel the same acceptance into the group that I felt since day one.
Thank you for considering me for the Board!
I am running for the board of NJM, with particular interest as Treasury officer. If elected, I will agree to a term as Treasurer if requested by the board. This will be my first-time seeking such position. My remaining bio focuses on my qualifications as Treasurer.
My first and most important qualification is that I am a proud member of North Jersey Masters for 10 years. Professional qualifications begin with a position as a Market Analyst and Forecaster for AT&T, armed with a master’s degree in Economics. Positions that I have held since, have been Strategic Pricing Manager, Contract Negotiations Manager, and Client Business Manager. After these, my concentration turned to IT Application Development working for Time Systems International, Quest Diagnostics, Teach for America, A&P Supermarkets, Johnson & Johnson, and Amazon. I have started three companies over the years, two of which I continue to operate. These are an IT consulting company and a vending machine sales and service company.
Norm Chester, the current treasurer has done great work with NJM’s books. He has automated the general ledger using QuickBooks. I have used QuickBooks as my accounting platform for my first company, an IT services company.
If elected, I look forward to the smooth transition and continued excellent execution of the duties of the Treasurer. Using my experience with QuickBooks, as an application developer, and passion for a job well done, I intend to do just that.
I am seeking re-election to the Board. For the past 3 years my board responsibilities have included the following: Recording Secretary, Chairman of the Events Committee and a member of the Communications Committee. I have been a member of North Jersey Masters since 2006. The experience of being on the board has enabled me to understand how important board members are to the success of this club. If re-elected I think my prior experience will enable me to be a valuable member of the board.
My immediate concern for club is that our 2022 Ridgewood Run be successful. This is the club’s cornerstone event. I plan on being an active contributor to make sure that this event is successful for North Jersey Masters and everyone that participates.
I have a business background and work at Englewood hospital as a System Analyst. Part of my job includes analyzing and listening to issues that arise and providing solutions based on those issues. I also have 6 years of experience as a race director for the Harry Chapin 5K in Huntington, Long Island.
Hi everyone, my name is PJ Ricatto, and I am running for a NJ Masters board. I have been a somewhat active member for the past 10+ years and always look forward to the comradery at the group workouts… it is such a nice group of people and it’s time for me to give something back to the Club.
Right now, I am more of a casual runner but look forward to racing soon. Like a lot of us, I started running in High School and for the most part never stopped. It is a big part of who I am.
I have gained a lot of leadership and organizational experience as a Professor and Dean at Bergen Community College over the past 25 years. I also have experience organizing and coaching youth and HS cross-country and Track & Field. I coached High School distance runners for 5 years in Brooklyn in the late eighties and more recently coached the Abbington Track Club, which has now morphed into Racefaster, in Ridgewood from about 2005 until 2015. I hope that all this experience will help me succeed as a board member.
I look forward to rolling up my sleeves and helping this great organization continue to move forward.